Top Comics of 2013 from Geeks With Wives & Capes
This year has been a great year for comics, a trend that seems to only get better in 2014. In 2013 we saw Marvel re-launch a majority of its line with Marvel NOW while DC stepped up its game with great events like Trinity War and Forever Evil. The indies also showed us some great things this year with books like Vertigo’s Trillium (an epic inter-dimensional love story by esteemed writer/artist Jeff Lemire) and Image’s East of West (a sci-fi western set in a dystopian future where the four horseman of the Apocalypse are mankind’s last hope). 2013 also gave us glimpses of darkness as Geoff Johns left Green Lantern a franchise he brought back from the dead to glorious highs. We also lost some great creators in Carmine Infantino and Al Plastino whose contributions will be a glowing legacy within the comic world.
Now, on to our list! Chosen by the Geeks With Wives & Capes crew, these are the top 5 comics of 2013. We selected them based on their story arcs, characters, and art style. Here we go…
By: Brian Michel Bendis
Art by : Steven McNiven
When the high council of the universe declares Earth as off limits, the Guardians (Star Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Iron Man) band together to find out why Earth has become such a hot topic among the universes’ elite. This book is an action packed, fun space adventure that touches the outer rim of the Marvel Universe and introduces new characters, worlds, and villains. Steve McNiven’s art takes this book to a level of universal greatness. Guardians of the Galaxy is a must read for anyone seeking outrageous adventure with a cast of love-able degenerates.
Recommended reading (Guardians of the Galaxy #1 - #3)
By: Jai Nitz
Art: Greg Smallwood
John Lincoln is an average guy, in-between jobs, with your typical girl problems and life hardships. His issues only get worse as he keeps waking up in strange places without any knowledge of how he got there or what he had done the night before. As his problem gets bigger John starts to put the pieces together. He stole an ancient Aboriginal mask and now John’s body is being borrowed by the vengeful spirits that inhabit the mask. John is along for the ride on a road that leads to murder, mystery, death and discovery, but most importantly Vengeance. With a rough and gritty art style by Greg Smallwood and a gripping story crafted by Jai Nitz, Dream Thief will keep you on the edge, questioning your own sanity and begging for more. (Written by Will Elizondo)
Recommended Reading (Dream Thief #1 - #5)
By: Dan Slott
Art by: Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Dr. Octopus has taken control of Peter Parkers’ mind, body and deemed himself the new Superior Spider-Man. With the memories and thus life of Peter Parker, Dr. Octopus attempts to become a better man and hero in every aspect. Dan Slott crafts a masterful story that continues to grip you with each page. By re-inventing Spider-Man Slott is allowed to re-introduce us to everything we loved about the wall crawler again and with a slight twist. Bring in old and new characters and plots that always seem to hold dire consequence Slott has breathed new life into and timeless story. It doesn’t hurt that he has the likes of Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli on art each bringing their own yet streamlined style that fits the web head perfectly. All the artist really bring their best pencils to the table as they build this new world and this new Spider-Man.
“Superior Spider-Man is cleverly written. Dan Slott just knows how to get you interested and keep you waiting till the next issue.” –Chris Pirri Geeks With Wives, Writer
Recommended Reading (Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1 - 5, Issues #1 - #26)
By: Rick Remender
Art by: John Cassaday, Daniel Acuna, Steve McNiven
In the wake of the dividing event Avengers vs. X-Men, Captain America felt he failed the mutant race. To try and build a bridge between the heroes of earth Captain America created the unity squad. An Avengers team comprised of mutants and Avengers lead by Alex Summers (Havok) to deal with threats centered around mutants. Remender has created a whole new world to play in with Uncanny Avengers. His mixed time allows for new dynamics and conflicts not yet explored in the Marvel Universe. He also takes huge risks that most authors would shy away from, making the payoff often heartbreaking or shocking. This book is no stranger to Remender’s dangerous writing style as no character is safe from his pen. With art by some of comics greatest artist working John Cassaday, Daniel Acuna, and Steve McNiven; each book is a sight to behold. Striking images grace each panel as action sequences, characters, and backgrounds are all beautifully rendered and realized. Uncanny Avengers is a Marvel treat that continues to build the relationships of mainstays like Captain America and Scarlett Witch while also tugging on every emotional string it can.
Recommended Reading: (Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1: #1 - #5)
By: Donny Cates & Mark Reznicek
Art by: Geoff Shaw
Although Ruben is an alcoholic, his disease is slightly different than your average user because when Ruben imbibes drugs or alcoholic he becomes an all-powerful, unstoppable superhero ready to take on any challenge no matter how daunting. After years of being controlled by this destructive force Ruben has finally decided to take control of his life and get clean. This is good news for Ruben but even better news for all his old villains as they make a play while our hero is at his most vulnerable. It will take everything in Ruben’s artisanal to combat his enemies while putting back the shambles of his life. Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek have created a character you love to hate in Ruben. You root for him then entire way but curse every poor decision he makes.
The writers create a world you never want to leave and because this is the end of our hero’s story you are able to see so much potential for more storytelling. Cates and Reznicek inject the superhero genre with a new drug and it’s extremely addicting. During the entire run all I could tell myself was I want, more, more, more. This almost perfect story is brought to 11 by artist Geoff Shaw. He embeds the world with a much need grittiness and real life inspiration that a comic like this thrives off of. Flashback scenes are especially memorable as the art style is completely changed to fit the jump to the past; it’s not something you see every day and it was executed with perfection. I can’t say enough good things about BuzzKill so instead of listening to me praise it to high heaven, please give it a read for yourself.
Recommended Reading: (Buzzkill #1 - #4)
Sense I can’t read everything and have a limited budget, I know some comics I left off definitely deserve to be on this list, so below are some other note worthy comics of 2013 that you should check out.
Honorable Mentions: (Locke & Key Finale, Afterlife with Archie, Fatale, Hawkeye, The Wake, Sex Criminals, Lazarus, Thor: God of Thunder)